Rail Traffic Growth Continues in w/e 05 November 2011

November 11th, 2011
in econ_news

Econintersect: Weekly rail traffic growth continues to be higher than the 4 week rolling average and the year-to-date growth  - and belies concerns the economy is currently slipping into a recession.  Rail traffic ends up being a leading indicator as it moves goods that will enter the economy weeks and months from now.

Weekly rail traffic has shown contraction year-over-year on four occasions since August. The latest data for week 44 of 2011 ending 05 November 2011, rail traffic grew 3.4% over the same week one year ago according to data provided by Railfax.

Follow up:

Rail performance year to date for 2011 has been in an overall downtrend since June when the trend line dropped below 3% to 4% year-over-year improvement in the four week trend line. In October, the short term trend has been improving but still below its old trend of the first half of 2011. This week the 4 week average shows year-over-year growth at 2.8%, up from 2.5% last week. Econintersect believes low growth year-over-year is an economic warning that a recession is possible. But if growth starts to pick up, the threat of recession will begin to recede.

Total US Rail Traffic

Major Commodity Groups Total Grain Chemicals Food Forest Metals Coal Autos Intermodal
Current Week
Vs. 2010 3.4% (11.7%) 3.4% (0.2%) 4.3% 16.6% 1.8% 17.2% 3.5%
Vs. 2009 11.8% (17.3%) 14.0% (0.2%) 8.5% 46.2% 6.3% 10.6% 15.6%
4 Week Rolling Avg.
Vs. 2010 2.8% (14.2%) 4.2% (2.5%) 1.5% 11.8% 1.2% 12.5% 3.8%
Vs. 2009 13.4% (6.9%) 13.2% (3.2%) 5.8% 45.9% 6.1% 16.0% 18.0%
Quarter to Date
Vs. 2010 2.7% (13.4%) 5.2% (2.9%) 2.5% 9.4% 1.3% 12.2% 3.5%
Vs. 2009 13.3% (6.5%) 13.9% (3.9%) 6.8% 46.0% 6.1% 15.8% 17.6%
Year to Date
Vs. 2010 3.3% (1.3%) 4.9% (2.8%) 3.4% 8.6% (0.3%) 8.1% 5.2%
Vs. 2009 13.9% 10.8% 15.1% (0.2%) 7.3% 52.0% 0.1% 33.1% 20.5%

4 week rolling average:

 

source: Railfax









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2 comments

  1. Douglas W Roberts says :
    ****-

    If the blue line on Total Rail Traffic is headed down, how does that indicate that traffic is growing?

  2. admin (Member) Email says :

    rail traffic is seasonal. It is headed down at this time each year - but this year is headed down at a slower rate than last year. Therefore we say that the rail traffic is higher this year.

    steven hansen





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